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Re: Frames [Re: ADA Applies to Web]

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2000 20:15:53 -0500 (EST)
To: John Nissen <jn@tommy.demon.co.uk>
cc: EASI@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.20.0002132014080.6791-100000@tux.w3.org>
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines require that Frames have meaningful
names/titles, and should also have alternative navigation mechanisms provided
by use of the NOFRAMES element - in many cases access to individual frames
causes a significant loss of context and proper use of NOFRAMES is much
better. (In addition, it provides the ability to make a "deep link" -
bookmark a relevant part of a framed site.)

Charles McCN

On Sat, 12 Feb 2000, John Nissen wrote:

  Hello Martin,
  I'm copying this reply to WAI people, because your point about
  labelling frames is important.   From an accessibility point of
  view, if you are going to have frames, at least label them clearly
  and sensibly.  This should go in the WAI content guidelines.
  BTW, couldn't the assistive technology (user agent) treat frames
  as separate pages?   I would assert that frames are essentially pages
  that can be simultaneously displayed on the screen.  If they
  were treated like pages, there'd be no problem with the back button!
  In message  <EASI%2000021016340245@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU> Martin McCormick
  >        You raise an interesting point.  Tables are presented
  >differently in Lynx than they appear on the screen of a graphical
  >browser... [snip]
  >        The same goes for frames.  Some sites have this message which
  >says something like "Your browser does not support frames.  Get one
  >that does," and I like to say, "While you're at it, visualize an end
  >to famine and pestilence the world over."  The reality is that lynx may
  >not present the same screen view in frames, but one can read a frame
  >at a time.  Again, the effect is kind of like the unwrapped tables.
  >Some information may be made useless this way, but a lot of things
  >will show up just fine.
  >        Many sites that use frames, however, don't put any useful
  >labels on the frames except for generic tags that describe where they
  >appear on the screen like "Frame top."  It would be better to have at
  >least a word or two such as  "Message from the President" or something
  >else to let one know where the  frame is that has the useful material.
  >It's just like food cans whose labels are missing.  We know what they
  >are, but we don't know what's in them without opening them.
  >Fortunately, opening the wrong frame and finding out that there is
  >nothing useful in it doesn't spoil anything, but it does waste time.
  >Martin McCormick WB5AGZ  Stillwater, OK
  >OSU Center for Computing and Information Services Data Communications Group
  Access the word, access the world       Tel/fax +44 20 8742 3170/8715
  John Nissen                             Email to jn@tommy.demon.co.uk
  Cloudworld Ltd., Chiswick, London, UK   http://www.tommy.demon.co.uk

Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
21 Mitchell Street, Footscray, VIC 3011,  Australia 
Received on Sunday, 13 February 2000 20:16:07 UTC

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